A Petition to Ban Divorce: It Protects Traditional Marriage! September 11, 2009

A Petition to Ban Divorce: It Protects Traditional Marriage!

I’m sure Focus on the Family, the Mormons, and anyone else who supported Proposition 8 (banning gay marriage in California) will be thrilled about John Marcotte‘s amusing petition to get the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act on the ballot.

The act would ban divorce in the state.

People who supported Prop 8 weren’t trying to take rights away from gays, they just wanted to protect traditional marriage. That’s why I’m confident that they will support this initiative, even though this time it will be their rights that are diminished. To not support it would be hypocritical.

I don’t get it… none of the Christian groups are supporting this.

Someone please explain.

(Thanks to Donna for the link!)

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  • How do Catholic annulments figure into this?

  • Shannon

    I saw this the other day. Is this guy serious? Or is he trying to make a point for the other side? I really couldn’t tell.

  • TXatheist

    “They” know what’s best for us, we don’t dare insist we know what’s best for them.

  • joe agnost
  • mikespeir

    I’m sure there are couples who opt out of a marriage too soon. Some of those, if they would work through their problems, would later find happiness together. Maybe making it harder to get a divorce could under some circumstances be beneficial.

    But I see way more problems caused than solved by taking that route. When the choice is between liberty and coercion, liberty isn’t always best. But unless the prospective outcome pretty certainly favors coercion, it’s best to bet on liberty.

  • Christine

    Heh. Seems like this guy is a bit too good of a satirist. Plenty of people here aren’t getting the joke.

  • Alan E.

    This was one of the unofficial rebuttals to the arguments during the Prop 8 campaign. I’m actually glad someone is standing behind it and showing the ridiculousness of some most of the arguments made by the anti-SSM side.

  • medussa

    During the Prop 8 wars here, the going response to the claim that Prop 8 just wanted to protect marriage was “the only thing that will truly protect marriage is to ban divorce”.

    And if you think about it, the flimsy connection between gay marriage and the failing of other people’s heterosexual marriage is easily trumped by the obvious benefits of banning divorce.
    So, if the goal is to keep het couples together at all costs, then banning divorce is much more effective than banning gay marriage, right?

    I hadn’t heard about this until today, but I got it immediately. Could it be that those who don’t get it are not from California?

  • Siamang

    I hope they get it on the ballot. Actually getting it on the ballot would do two things. It would show people that fucking with other people’s private love lives is not the role of the government.

    Also, it would serve as an indictment of the whole initiative process. Apparently all it takes is a bare majority to remove rights from fellow citizens.

    I say BAN DIVORCE!!! Let’s amend the California Constitution.

  • littlejohn

    I call Poe.

    Maybe his next step will be to ban all marriage; that’s absolutely guarranteed to end divorce.

  • Alan E.

    Apparently he has filed the papers and paid the money. He is accepting donations (didn’t look up the tax forms yet) and will be getting petitions out. I hope it gets a lot more attention! It may be a Poe, but it’s one that is really happening.

  • peregrine

    Someone posted that on Twitter the other day, and there were a couple things he said in the interview that made me think that either it was a Poe, or he was totally oblivious to the irony.

    We’re going to set up a table in front of Wal*Mart and ask people to sign a petition to protect traditional marriage. We’re going to interview them about why they thing traditional marriage is important, and then we’ll tell them that we are trying to ban divorce.

    Bait and switch? Why?

    Fun fact: Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality. Probably some sort of clerical oversight that will be rectified in the end of days…

    Couldn’t help but break character there, and throw in a left wing zinger?

    And this one should get your Poe senses tingling:

    Sometimes other people need to sacrifice in order to protect my ideas about traditional marriage.

    And just for good measure:

    I wish that I could force people that hate each other with the intensity of a thousand white suns back into a loveless marriage, but my attorneys tell me that getting that law passed would be unlikely in the current political climate.

    If he’s not one of us trying to pull a fast one, he’s certainly not the brightest one of them I’ve ever heard of.

  • Nathan

    The RescueMarriage website says they have raised $64. A whole $64. Wow. Californians better start doing something about it.

  • The Other Tom

    Personally I think this is kinda dumb. There’s a much more effective tactic he could take. The CA supreme court has already issued a ruling stating that gay people must have equal marriage rights to straight people, and one stating that the ban on gay marriage is legal. He needs to go back to the court and get them to issue the obvious conclusion to both these rulings: to ban all marriage in California, on the grounds that if gay people can’t marry, straight people can’t either.

    I’m serious. It’d make the straight people wake up and smell the coffee pretty fast, wouldn’t it?

    They should also void all marriages that have taken place since the ban was passed, and refuse to recognize any out-of-state marriages which took place since the ban was passed, just like they have been doing to gay people, of course.

  • Sackbut

    peregrine wrote:

    Bait and switch? Why?

    Because people will back off their desire to “protect traditional marriage” when they realize it affects them. Maybe some of them will see the point about messing with other people’s lives. Maybe.

    The money quote in the interview:

    If people are thinking about getting a divorce, just remember “Hell is eternal, just like your marriage was supposed to be.” Jesus still loves you if you get divorced, just not as much as before.


  • Sackbut

    Here’s a somewhat related petition from 2003:

    Ban non-child-bearing marriage

    Legislation must be enacted forbidding women over the childbearing age from tying the knot. Mandatory testing must be carried out to identify sterile men and barren women, ensuring that these people remain single forever. Elderly couples without offspring must have their marriages forcibly annulled.

  • Loulou

    OMFSM! Now abused spouses can continue to be in their abusive marriage.

  • Tony

    I think that this is a neat idea! You turn the whole issue around so it isn’t about gay people or equal rights (because frankly the supporters of proposition 8 are not interested in equality, they are actively supporting discrimination), instead it’s about supporting the very same thing that supporters of proposition 8 were claiming to be in favour of – protecting the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.

    It’s unfortunate for those marriage fans that they now have to face up to the fact that supporting the sanctity of marriage now potentially affects them directly. Genius.

  • bronwynm23

    Hysterical! This quote is classic:

    “I wish that I could force people that hate each other with the intensity of a thousand white suns back into a loveless marriage”

    I am literally laughing out loud at work. . .

    btw, I also liked The Other Tom’s proposal

  • peregrine


    My intention is to demonstrate the likelihood that it’s a Poe, not to question the tactic itself. If he’s a Poe, then it’s a perfectly sound tactic.

  • 5ive

    well. I love this idea. But unfortunately, the pro-prop8 people have these other arguments, that while all bogus, allow them to rationalize their absurd position:
    1. it will take away the church’s “right” to discriminate
    2. they will teach homosexuality to our kids!! OUR 5 YEAR-OLDS!!! IN SCHOOL!!!!
    3. It is the beginning of the end, once you allow gay people to marry, then it’s polygamists, child rapists (to their victims) and humans to other animals
    4. If a church refuses to perform a ceremony, they will be sued. (never mind the first amendment)
    There were more, but honestly, my brain started to burn when I listened to the people pushing these ideas, so I had to leave.
    So this may handle one argument, but there are always more to back up unreasonable ideas.
    The people against same-sex marriage, their ignorance and cognitive dissonance tactics are truly impressive.

  • Laura Lou

    I thought they tried that and the Cali Supreme Court ruled it constitutional anyway?

  • cypressgreen

    Does anyone know if any religious nuts have fallen for this? And where?

  • A post on his site:

    Jesus still loves you if you get divorced — just not as much as before

    This guy’s good 🙂

  • The best way to protect marriage is for the state to get out of the marriage business altogether. Have all legal rights just associated with state regulated civil unions (open to all couples) and let the churches discriminate all they want for their own optional internal religious “marriage” ceremonies. Churches could then be very very selective as to whom they marry (devout Christian heterosexuals in child-baring years pledging to participate in the quiver-full movement for example). The churches could marry the couple together with Jesus for a spiritual polyamorous three-way. 🙂

  • Jenny

    I actually love and agree with this – and I consider myself a Christian, albeit an open-minded one, who fits into the “norm” – a thirty-something married woman.

    Which paints a better picture of marriage – a committed, loving, faithful homosexual relationship, or a heterosexual one filled with infidelity or divorce?

  • Shannon

    Ah, ok, thanks 😉 I thought he was a Poe but you know . . . well . . .

    For the record, my Grandma (Catholic) once told me you shouldn’t get married if you don’t want kids, that the only point of marriage was to breed. And the only Catholic I ever dated told me that if you married someone and it turned out they couldn’t have kids, it was perfectly fine and moral to divorce them if you wanted to. So yeah, that stuff is out there.

  • Serious or not, it says a lot about the anti-gay supporters wanting to protect marriage.

  • Tony

    3. It is the beginning of the end, once you allow gay people to marry, then it’s polygamists, child rapists (to their victims) and humans to other animals

    Well this would at least be entirely in line with traditional marriage as defined in the “Good” Book…

    Deut 22:28-29

  • Jerad

    Here’s a video (~10 mins) where he’s interviewed by atheist comic Keith Lowell Jensen.


  • Luther

    Another solution would be forced marriage…not jail, yet maybe a high tax on those who are unmarried…and a tax cut based on the number of children you have.

    You could base it on religious tradition and give women until 15 before imposing the tax and have a trigger to tax men less for being single once polygamy is legalized.

  • The Other Tom

    @Laura Lou: No. The CA court ruled that gay people have to have equal rights regarding marriage, and then it ruled that the ballot initiative and resulting change to the constitution were legal.

    They did NOT rule on whether straight people can marry now, because as far as I can tell, nobody has asked them to. The amendment does not specify that straight people have to be permitted to marry, it simply says gay people can’t. Thus, it in no way overrules the preceding constitutional requirement for equal protection under the law, which is enshrined in the CA constitution as well as the federal one.

    Thus, someone should go to the CA court, or a federal court, and demand that BOTH equal protection AND the amendment against gay people marrying MUST be enforced, and therefore, straight people must not be permitted to marry.

    Speaking as a gay man, a big problem I have with many members of the gay community is the fact that they insist on being nice while fighting the right wingers. The right wingers, on the other hand, are under no such restriction. They called for the “culture war” and they have been fighting it as such; meanwhile, the gay community is treating it not as the “culture war” but rather as the “culture strong disagreement”. The right wing is causing real harm to real gay people’s real lives, and they think that’s just great because they’re not suffering at all. It’s time to fight back, and use every lawful method available to fight them – and that means, in a lawful manner, causing real harm to real fundamentalists’ real lives (such as getting marriage banned altogether), until either we’ve won our equality outright through courts and legislatures, or the right wingers are forced to realize that they have to compromise and let us live our lives as we please if they don’t want to live in a hell on earth of cultural battle.

    And incidentally, Laura Lou, I just read what I just wrote, and I realize it could be interpreted as being angry. It’s not, or at least, certainly not at you. I recognize that you in no way were trying to be hostile to me, and I am in no way angry with you. I’m just expressing myself strongly.

  • Alan E.

    @The Other Tom
    That is almost exactly what the current federal suit is trying to do. They aren’t trying to make opposite sex marriages illegal, that would require another state level suit, but are using the contradicting language as a case to be rid of Prop 8 (or whatever it’s called now).

    The current case is an odd one still. Cities and state attorneys wanted to help out but the lawyers said no thanks. Even the lawyers are an odd story since they were opposing counsel for the Gore v. Bush case in 2000.

  • Laura Lou

    Thanks for the info, TheOtherTom and Alan E. I had heard that as a potential legal strategy back when Prop 8 passed, but I hadn’t heard anything else about it in a while, so I assumed it had failed.

    And I’m with you on the niceness thing. Liberals (I am one, heart and soul) in general tend to be a bit too gracious. Ugh, just thinking about how ruthless and bigoted the Prop 8 supporters are makes me sick to my stomach. They get cut so much slack when they are so evil.

  • I think this is brilliant! I also think I’m going to donate a few bucks to help him recover some of the $200 he’s put into this. Mockery and satire are the best responses to insanity.


  • ChameleonDave

    Indeed, there is a good argument that marriage should be for ever if it means anything. However, this is not connected to the debate on ‘gay marriage’, which goes so far beyond the idea of what marriage is as to be laughable.

    The State should side-step such complicated cultural issues by not recognising marriage at all, only civil unions.

  • Gabriel G.

    It’s because they never wanted to “protect marriage,” what they wanted was to take away any rights away from gay people that they could. If they could have taken voting rights or even citizenship away from gay people, they would have probably worded it in a way as if they were trying to “protect heterosexuals from the homosexual disease”.

  • Neon Genesis

    The State should side-step such complicated cultural issues by not recognising marriage at all, only civil unions.

    Isn’t that the same thing with a different name? Why not just call it marriage then and the bigots can STFU it? It seems like a double standard that gays should be expected to treat civil unions as the same thing as marriage but the moment anyone suggests we should just go ahead and call it the same, then all of the suddenly it’s magically different, disproving the claim that civil unions are just as good as marriage.

  • AxeGrrl

    Neon Genesis wrote:

    Isn’t that the same thing with a different name? Why not just call it marriage then and the bigots can STFU it? It seems like a double standard that gays should be expected to treat civil unions as the same thing as marriage but the moment anyone suggests we should just go ahead and call it the same, then all of the suddenly it’s magically different, disproving the claim that civil unions are just as good as marriage.

    Perfectly said!

    I have to say, it annoys the hell out of me when some people say ‘gov’t should just get out of the marriage business and leave it to churches’…..

    well, i’m sorry, but NO church or religion ‘owns’ marriage. It’s as simple as that. To say ‘leave marriage to churches’ is tantamount to just throwing in the towel to bigotry.

    Aside from the basic legal aspects, what a marriage ‘is’ is determined by the 2 people involved….and by no one else. I always laugh when some anti-gay marriage person says that such couplings go against what their idea of ‘what marriage should be‘. I laugh because as they say such a thing, there are thousands of marriages that don’t fit their ‘idea’ of what marriage ‘should’ be ~ thousands of marriages in which both partners have sex with other people, thousands of marriages in which there is NO sex whatsoever…….there exists any number of marriages that run counter to what many people think marriage ‘should’ be.

    That’s the reality. To suggest that gay marriage is soooooo ‘different’ from what already exists is either ignorance or wilful ignorance.

    What the hell is wrong with the people who just CAN’T keep their collective nose out of other peoples’ relationships?

  • ChameleonDave

    what a marriage ‘is’ is determined by the 2 people involved…

    2? Why only 2? Isn’t that bigotry?

  • Tracie F Gib

    I say we do both:

    1) Ban currently unmarried heterosexual couples from being married by the state on the reasoning presented so ably by those above, i.e. that the the rulings already in place logically prevent it, and

    2) Prevent all who are already married from divorcing, no matter how duplicitous, depraved and violent their relationships may become.

    Then, let’s see how long it takes them to understand.

  • AxeGrrl

    ChameleonDave wrote:

    what a marriage ‘is’ is determined by the 2 people involved…

    2? Why only 2? Isn’t that bigotry?

    Hey, I have no objections to polygamy among consenting adults 🙂 I merely said ‘2’ because that’s the current legal reality ~ not to suggest that that’s how it ‘should’ be 🙂

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